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Iran Press TV

Iran won't allow anything to disrupt its strategic ties with Russia: FM Spox

Iran Press TV

Tuesday, 17 May 2022 10:10 AM

Iran has emphasized the significance of strong bilateral ties between the Islamic Republic and Russia, saying Tehran will not allow anything to disrupt ties between the all-weather allies.

Iran's foreign ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh, in an interview with Russia's Sputnik news agency, said relations between Tehran and Moscow are "strategic" and cannot be allowed to be disrupted.

Russia has been reeling under unprecedented economic sanctions from the US and European countries since it launched a military operation in Ukraine in late February.

The sanctions imposed on Moscow are similar to those slapped on Iran by the United States in 2018 when Washington unilaterally pulled out of an international deal on Iran's nuclear program and announced a campaign of maximum economic pressure.

The two countries have significantly boosted their ties despite the US sanctions, with Iran signing an agreement with the Russia-led EAEU bloc of Eurasian economies.

Trade ties between Iran and Russia exceeded $4 billion in value terms over the Iranian calendar year to March. However, the two countries have insisted that the volume of trade could be more than doubled because of new geopolitical realities in the region.

Commenting on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Khatibzadeh blamed the current situation in Ukraine on NATO's eastward expansion and the West's failure to take into consideration Russia's security concerns.

In December last year, Moscow urged NATO not to allow Ukraine and other former Soviet countries to join the Western military alliance.

It also called on the alliance to stop its military deployments to Ukraine and to withdraw its forces from Eastern Europe, demanding legally binding guarantees.

The Russian demands were flatly rejected.

"NATO must know that the path of confrontation does not have a happy ending," Khatibzadeh said.

Referring to Tehran's efforts to achieve peace between Moscow and Kiev, Khatibzadeh expressed his country's readiness to act as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine.

"Iran intends to launch a new round of efforts to mediate between Russia and Ukraine," he announced.

Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine in late February, following Kiev's failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements and Moscow's recognition of the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

At the time, Russian President Vladimir Putin said one of the goals of what he called a "special military operation" was to "de-Nazify" Ukraine.

Iran has denounced the war but maintained that Russia's military operation was triggered by NATO's provocations.

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